At the beginning of 2008, the apparel industry was focused on fears that Chinese prices would go through the roof as rising wages, new labour laws, worker shortages, the appreciation of the yuan and higher exporting costs took hold - sending many buyers in search of cheaper suppliers elsewhere. What a difference a year makes. Looking forward to 2009, this briefing outlines what the apparel industry might expect, how fashion firms will respond, what the downturn means for the supply chain and how ethical, environmental and trade issues will affect the industry.